Posts Tagged ‘living in an old home’

Decorating with Colour

There’s something about a new house that brings the designer out in people you know — your real estate agent, your new neighbours, your family, completely strangers — and their advice is always the same, if you’re going to update the paint keep it neutral. I understand where they’re coming from, colour can be very personal, but the whole off-white, beige, neutral colour scheme just doesn’t work for me. When we bought our first house we didn’t do much in the way of painting because we had more important things to take care of. But after a few months the neutral colours in the place were bringing me down. We went and painted every room, bright bold colours: ox blood red, royal blue, mustard yellow. And when it came time to sell the place we had no problems, no issue with colours.

So when we bought our second home, paint was one of the first things we did (though some rooms, like my son’s, are still waiting for a good colour of paint). We followed with the same colours we used in our old place. Many people who visit say they love the colour but they could never do it in their own place; it’s far too bold. I find the colour warms the rooms up, translates our house into a home. The rooms may be darker, sucking the light into the walls versus reflecting them off of a white, but that just gives me an excuse to buy funky lamps. And forget the idea about not using bold colours in a small place. We painted our small downstairs bathroom a dark red and it has such a rich feel, like a royal throne (pun intended).

A forest green for our foyer

Mustard-like yellow for the living room with green accent

Dark red for the kitchen with black and stainless accents

Red kitchen connects to a burnt orange dining room

Granny smith apple green with yellow accents in youngest' bedroom

Blue in the upper stair hallway

Blue hallway leads to read and yellow office space

Red office with yellow accents

Even if you don’t think you can do a whole room with one colour, try painting just one wall or the ceiling or a banding. There’s a great article on EverythingMom about painting with colour, specifically red, and it has lots of great tips. You might be surprised at how much your room will warm-up with a little (or a lot) of colour.

The Old Oak Tree

I love old homes, especially ones that are located in old-established neighbourhoods. Our current home (built-in 1909) was untouched by the previous owners which is a rare and wonderful thing. Yes, it means work and more work but all the character is maintained and that’s what I love, a house with history.

The fact that our current house was untouched was a big selling feature but the old growth in the neighbourhood and our yard was another bonus. Our backyard is almost completely shaded by a large old oak, and we have a fairly big backyard (for a city home) so you can imagine how big the oak is:

But a wonderful big oak also means big work. Windy weather like today’s makes that abundantly clear when large branches are snapped from the tree. Lucky nothing big fell from our oak. We’re now in the process of having someone come in a cut back dead weight to avoid any problems in the future. Hopefully with care we’ll be able to keep this oak around for the next few generations to look at in awe. I know I do, every day.